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Rajasthan Political Crisis: SC To Hear Tomorrow BJP MLA's Plea Against Speaker Approving BSP-Congress Merger

Radhika Roy
10 Aug 2020 9:15 AM GMT
Rajasthan Political Crisis: SC To Hear Tomorrow BJP MLAs Plea Against Speaker Approving BSP-Congress Merger
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The Supreme Court will hear tomorrow the SLP filed by BJP MLA Madan Dilawar, challenging Rajasthan High Court's refusal to stay Rajasthan Speaker Dr. CP Joshi's decision apporoving the merger of six Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) MLAs with Indian National Congress (INC). 

A Bench headed by Justice Arun Mishra heard the arguments submitted by Senior Advocate Harish Salve, appearing on behalf of Dilawar, who apprised the Court of the background of the case.

He further brought up the aspect that while Dilawar's plea was dismissed was the High Court, the six MLAs had filed a Transfer Petition.

"My client's plea for stay was dismissed by the Single-Judge Bench as some technicality was not met with. In the interim, these 6 MLAs have filed a Transfer Petition. You can see what they will do. They will now go to the High Court on the next date [August 11] and say that the Transfer Petition is pending in the Supreme Court".

In light of the above, Salve sought for both the matters to be listed together and taken up either tomorrow or day after.

Accordingly, Justice Mishra has directed for both the matters to be listed tomorrow.

In September 2019, the Rajasthan Assembly Speaker, Dr. CP Joshi, had allowed for the merger of six BSP MLAs with Congress. These six MLAs had been elected to the Rajasthan Legislative Assembly in December 2018 on the ticket issued by BSP. An Application submitted by them to the Speaker in September 2019, who allowed for the merger.

Challenging the Speaker's decision, Dilawar had moved the Rajasthan High Court in March 2020 under the Tenth Schedule of the Constitution of India, seeking for a stay of the same in order to restrict the six MLAs from attending proceedings in the House while was the matter was pending in Court. This plea was allegedly withdrawn and the impugned order was delivered on 28th July. This was further challenged by Dilawar before the Division Bench of the Rajasthan High Court.

On 6th August, the Division Bench of the Rajasthan HC disposed of the appeal, "without considering the Petitioner for interim relief". The Petitioner has therefore approached the Supreme Court by way of a Special Leave Petition.

In the meanwhile, a Transfer Petition was filed by the six MLAs, seeking a transfer to the Supreme Court, the petition filed in Rajasthan HC challenging the Speaker's order approving the merger with Congress.

The Transfer Petition contends that the merger of the "entire Legislative Party of the BSP" with the INC was recognized by the Speaker of the State Assembly, who subsequently went on to dismiss a disqualification petition "for non-compliance of Rule 6 of the Rajasthan Legislative Members (Disqualification on the ground of Defection) Rules, 1989".

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